Putin says French same-sex marriage law puts adoptions at risk
By Steve Gutterman
MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin signaled on Friday that Moscow would seek changes in an agreement regulating adoptions of Russian children by French parents, saying a French law allowing same-sex marriage went against traditional Russian values.
Russia has already halted adoptions by Americans in a dispute with Washington over human rights. Any move to scrap the year-old agreement with France, or impose new restrictions, would deepen a divide between Putin and European nations over homosexuality and gay rights.
Putin, who has often championed socially conservative values since he began a third term last May, was greeted in the Netherlands this month by demonstrators protesting against Russian legislation that critics say would discriminate against gays.
At a meeting on children's issues, Putin expressed support for a regional lawmaker, Marina Orgeyeva, who proposed reviewing the adoption agreement with France because of its decision to allow same-sex marriage, Russian news agencies reported. The French parliament approved the new law on Tuesday.
"She is right. We need to react to what is going on around us," Interfax quoted Putin as saying. "We respect our partners, but we ask that they respect our cultural traditions and the ethical, legislative and moral norms of Russia."
"I think we have the right to make changes."
Putin made no recommendations about how the agreement might be altered, but a senior pro-Kremlin lawmaker, Yelena Mizulina, said among the options were withdrawing from the agreement or seeking to change it, state-run RIA reported. Continued...